Ricky Burns says that he is not concerned by Jose Gonzalez’s KO ratio as he prepares to defend his WBO lightweight title in Betfair’s ‘Fighting Pride of Scotland’ on May 11 at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, live on Sky Sports.
The mandatory challenger comes to Scotland with 17 KOs from 22 wins and after Burns was floored by Gonzalez’s fellow Puerto Rican ‘Rocky’ Roman Martinez in the first round of their title clash in September 2010.
Burns showed true grit to climb off the canvas and rip the title from Martinez, and the 30 year old says he proved that night that he can handle anything thrown at him. “His knockout ratio doesn’t concern me at all,” said Burns.
“When I fought Martinez he was knocking everybody out and after the first round when I got caught clean I was fine. I have been in with big punchers before so I will just go in there and do what I have to do.
“I think Gonzalez is a totally different fighter [to Martinez]. He switch hits, he likes to catch you with a big left hook; when I have watched the footage on YouTube it seems to be the big left hook he has been knocking everybody out with. Styles make fights and although we have been working on a few other things which we think might work in this fight I won’t really know what way I am going to fight until that first bell goes.”
Burns says footage of Gonzalez has been hard to track down for him and his trainer Billy Nelson, but the Coatbridge star says that he prefers to box sight unseen and believes his own power is underestimated, especially after his thrilling fourth round stoppage win over Kevin Mitchell in his last defence.
“We have been struggling to get any footage of his fights, the only things we can find on YouTube is him knocking boys out,” said Burns. “He is obviously a big puncher but I have been in with big punchers before so I will just have to make sure my hands are up and I go out there and do what I have been training to do.
“Everybody knows my attitude towards it; I don’t really like watching footage of my opponents. I am a believer in whatever happens on the night is going to happen. When you are studying what they are doing you are trying to suss them out but the way I look at it is I would like to concentrate on what I am doing rather than what they are doing.
“I am a good boxer but over my last few fights I have been getting a lot more aggressive; I have been going forward a lot more and I can fight on the front. Although when you look at my record I don’t really have a lot of knockouts, I do hit hard enough to make the guy think about coming in.”
Burns third title defence against Gonzalez tops a great bill of action in Glasgow as John Simpson faces Choi Tseveenpurev for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight title, top Scottish talent including unbeaten trio David Brophy, Jon Slowey and Stephen Simmons, who takes on Michael Sweeney in a ten round Celtic cruiserweight clash, and some of Matchroom Boxing’s brightest young stars.
Tickets for Betfair’s ‘Fighting Pride of Scotland’ are on sale now. Tickets are priced £40 upper tier, £60 lower tier and floor seats, £100 ringside and £200 VIP (all tickets subject to booking fee). Tickets are available through the Emirates Arena at www.emiratesarena.co.uk, Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com and by phone on 0141 353 8000.